SLIG Faculty

Deborah A. Abbott, PhD

Deborah Abbott PhDDeborah A. Abbott, PhD, is a professional genealogist specializing in genealogical methodology, manuscript collections, and African American family research. She is a member of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Archives Commission, the Lakeview Cemetery Community Outreach Committee, an affiliate with the Kentucky-Tennessee Associates, past president of the African American Genealogical Society, Cleveland, Ohio, and a retired professor of Counseling from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. She holds an AA degree from Cuyahoga Community College, both the BS and MEd degrees from Tuskegee University in Alabama and the PhD degree from Kent State University in Ohio.

Dr. Abbott is coordinator of the African American Track at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) in Athens, Georgia, and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). She teaches at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG) and the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR) in Dallas. Dr. Abbott presents lectures and workshops for national, state, and local genealogy conferences, colleges, and libraries.

She has articles published in the Ohio Genealogy News and FamilyTree magazines. Dr. Abbott can be found teaching African American genealogy in a segment entitled “Needles & Threads” on Ancestry Academy, an educational video course for Ancestry.com. She teaches monthly classes entitled “Using Ancestry.com in Genealogy Research” at the Lakewood (Ohio) Public Library and coordinates the “Genealogy and Family History Clinic” for the Cleveland Public Library.

Dr. Abbott is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) and the Genealogical Speakers Guild (GSG).

A Cleveland, Ohio native, she is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Tuskegee University National Alumni Association, and Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland.

Brandon Baird, AG, MEd

Brandon Baird, AG, MEdBrandon Baird, AG, MEd, attended and graduated from BYU with a BA in Family History and Genealogy. He started working at the Family History Library in the summer of 2013 as a part-time Latin America Research Specialist. In March of 2014, he was hired full time and has continued as a Latin America Research Specialist. As a Latin America Research Specialist, he assists individuals in researching their Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French ancestors. He has become an Accredited Genealogist through ICAPGen in the Spain, France, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Peru, Chile, Colombia-Panama, Argentina-Uruguay, and Venezuela regions. In 2017, he graduated from the University of Utah with a Master of Education in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. He teaches at conferences both nationally and internationally on a variety of genealogical topics, as well as at the Family History Library.

Jen Baldwin

Jen BaldwinJen Baldwin has been working in the realm of professional genealogy since 2010 but has been pursuing her family history since she was a youth. She is currently the Research Specialist and North American Content Manager for Findmypast. Jen lectures, writes, and consults on a variety of genealogy related topics, and was part of the research team for season two of Genealogy Roadshow on PBS. She is the author of course materials for the National Institute of Genealogical Studies. She is excited to discover unique resources that allow for a different perspective in genealogical research, including the vast research opportunities for family historians around the world to take advantage of UK collections, such as newspapers and the 1921 Census of England and Wales. She was a proud volunteer for the Federation of Genealogical Societies, serving as a Board Member and the Program Committee Chair for the 2019 Family History Conference in Washington, DC. Additionally, she was co-creator and host of #genchat, a popular crowd-sourcing and conversation venue on Twitter.

Angie Bush, MS

Angie Bush, MSAngie Bush, MS (Biotechnology), BS (Molecular Biology), is the Director of Region 1 for the National Genealogical Society. She is a professional genetic genealogist and has been researching her own family since she was 8 years old. She regularly provides advice regarding genetic genealogy to other genealogists in the Salt Lake City area. Prior to her involvement with genetic genealogy, she pursued a career in molecular and clinical genetics. Between obtaining her bachelor's and master's degrees, she spent several years working in the biotech industry where she gained an in-depth, working knowledge of the technologies used in DNA testing. Angie has helped many adoptees to find their biological family through autosomal DNA testing, and is particularly focused on using DNA as a genealogical record to reconstruct relationships and break down brick walls – whether they are recent or several hundred years old.

Angie is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists, International Society of Genetic Genealogists and Utah Genealogical Association.

Henrietta Martinez Christmas

Henrietta Martinez ChristmasHenrietta Martinez Christmas is a well-known and respected genealogical speaker and researcher who has given presentations on topics related to Hispanics in the Southwest and Mexico. Engagements include keynotes for the New Mexico Genealogical Society and Santa Fe Trail Association. She has also been featured at annual conferences for the Texas Genealogical Society, DAR, DAR Spanish Task Force and BIA-International Conference, Legacy Family Tree webinars, and as an instructor at SLIG. An award-winning author, she has written over 200 articles and several books related to genealogy and small towns, and has extracted and transcribed historical records for genealogical societies.

Arturo Cuellar, AG

Arturo Cuellar, AGArturo Cuellar, AG,is a genealogical researcher with over 30 years of experience. He is a member of the Utah Genealogical Association and several other genealogical associations and societies. Arturo is an Accredited Genealogist in Argentina, Colombia-Panama, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. He is working towards a master's degree in Latin American Studies. Arturo works at the Family History Library as a Latin America & Spain Research Specialist.

Victor S. Dunn, CG*

Victor S. Dunn, CGVictor S. “Vic” Dunn, CG, is a full-time professional researcher. The coordinator for the Virginia track at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, he is a frequent contributor to major genealogical publications including feature articles in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The Genealogist, BCG's OnBoard, and Magazine of Virginia Genealogy. In 2014 he received the Mosher Award for Colonial Virginia Research and was named as the official genealogist of the Order of First Families of Virginia. He is a past trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, past treasurer of the National Genealogical Society and past governor of the Virginia Genealogical Society.

Nicole Dyer

Nicole DyerNicole Dyer is a professional genealogist specializing in Southern United States research and genetic genealogy. She is the creator of FamilyLocket.com and the Research Like a Pro Genealogy Podcast. She co-authored the books Research Like a Pro: A Genealogist's Guide and Research Like a Pro with DNA and is an instructor for the study groups of the same name. She lectures at local and national conferences and previously served as the secretary and publicity chair of the Pima County Genealogy Society. Nicole holds a bachelor's degree from Brigham Young University in History Teaching. At Family Locket Genealogists, Nicole is a project manager, editor, genetic genealogy specialist, and Southern States researcher.

Sharon Batiste Gillins

Sharon Batiste GillinsSharon Batiste Gillins is a native of Galveston, Texas with paternal ancestral roots in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana and maternal roots in Fort Bend County, Texas. A life-long interest in her family's history led to an active involvement in genealogical research. Ms. Gillins’ career spans 40 years in education, retiring as Associate Professor at Riverside Community College, Riverside, California. She frequently calls upon her career background as a college educator to lecture and present at regional and national genealogy conferences. Ms. Gillins’ research and teaching emphasize strategies for researching underutilized record sources to discover details of 19th century Southern life and ancestry, including that of planter slave owners, enslaved people, and free people of color.

Ms. Gillins works as a Research Associate at the Mary Moody Northen Endowment in Galveston, Texas, her work centered on maintaining the Moody family archive and exhibit development for the historic house museum.

Debbie Gurtler, AG

Debbie Gurtler, AGDebbie Gurtler, AG, graduated with honors from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in Family History. She worked as an intern at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. She has also made research trips to archives in Spain, Virginia, and North Carolina. Debbie holds five AG credentials for the US Mid-south, Spain, Mexico, Portugal, and Chile regions.

She is employed by FamilySearch where she is currently the supervisor of the Latin America‐Southern Europe and German‐Slavic teams at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. She also oversees the training of missionaries and volunteers at the library. She is fluent in Spanish and can read genealogical documents in Portuguese, Italian, and French. She is a member of several genealogical societies including HISPAGEN and Antzinako in Spain, the National Genealogical Society (NGS), the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), and the Utah Genealogical Association (UGA) in the United States.

Sharon L. Hoyt, MLIS, CG

Sharon L. Hoyt, CGSharon L. Hoyt, MLIS, CG, is a genealogy researcher, speaker, and writer from California’s Silicon Valley. She has conducted research for clients since 2005. Her primary areas of interest include New England, New York, the Midwest, Canada, and England. She is happiest when on the trail of a family story, particularly one that involves the Civil War.

Sharon is the winner of the National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Writing Contest and the Minnesota Historical Society’s 2016 Michael Clark Family History Writing Award. Her research has been published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and Minnesota Genealogist.

Before focusing on genealogy, Sharon managed intranet content and search tools for large technology companies. She holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science.

Robbie Johnson, CG

Robbie Johnson, CGRobbie Johnson, CG, became a professional genealogist in 2016 after 40 years as a writer/editor and researcher. She has served as a coordinator and secretary for the ProGen Study Groups, mentored for the GenProof study group, and lectures locally in Washington state. Robbie focuses her research on England and Canada, Indigenous North America and Mexico, Ohio, and the Midwest. Robbie lives in Skagit County, Washington.

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS

Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGSThomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, is an award-winning genealogical researcher, author, and educator. He co-edited the National Genealogical Society Quarterly in 2003–18. He is a former trustee and past president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, past board member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and recipient of its Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit and its Professional Achievement Award. He also has received the Utah Genealogical Association’s Silver Tray Award and its Award of Merit. Retired from a thirty-year career in higher education and professor emeritus at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., Tom coordinates courses at the Institute on Genealogy and Historical Research and the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, teaches classes at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and its Academy for Professionals, and speaks frequently at national, state, and local genealogical society seminars. He has written more than twenty-five articles in scholarly genealogy journals, the textbooks Mastering Genealogical Proof and Mastering Genealogical Documentation, and chapters in Professional Genealogy and Advanced Genetic Genealogy. He specializes in skillfully using genealogical evidence and writing genealogical articles.

Melinda Kashuba, PhD

Melinda Kashuba, PhDMelinda Kashuba is a professional genealogist and owner of Kashuba Research Services, a genealogical and historical research company. She is a community college instructor based in Northern and teaches online. Her popular book, Walking with Your Ancestors: A Genealogist’s Guide to Using Maps and Geography, joins a long list of articles in numerous genealogical magazines and other publications. She is a course coordinator and faculty member at IGHR and faculty member at SLIG.

Her genealogical specialties include 19th century and contemporary genealogical records in California including map and land records. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles, a Masters of Arts degree in Geography from Hayward State University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Geography.

Melinda is a member of the National Genealogical Society, Association of Professional Genealogists, Utah Genealogical Association, California Genealogical Society, Shasta Historical Society, and Shasta County Genealogical Society. She served as a Registrar for two local chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGL

Rebecca Whitman Koford, CG, CGLRebecca Whitman Koford holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her focuses are Maryland and military records at the National Archives, especially those of the War of 1812. Rebecca has been taking clients and lecturing since 2004. She has spoken for the National Genealogical Society Conference (NGS), Association of Professional Genealogists Conference (APG), RootsTech, webinars for Legacy and APG, the Maryland State Archives, and for groups in surrounding states. She has published articles in the NGS Magazine, APG Quarterly, SAR Magazine, and the Maryland Genealogical Society Journal. Rebecca is also the Course 1 coordinator for The Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research (IGHR). She is a former board member of the Maryland Genealogical Society. She is a graduate and former group coordinator and mentor of the ProGen Study Group, an online peer-led study program based on the book Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills; she was appointed ProGen Administrator in January 2015. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Rebecca lives in Mount Airy and volunteers at the Family History Center in Frederick, Maryland.

J. Mark Lowe, FUGA

J. Mark Lowe, CGJ. Mark Lowe, FUGA, describes himself as a lifelong genealogist. He is a full-time professional genealogist, author, and lecturer who specializes in original records and manuscripts throughout the South. Mark lives in Robertson County, Tennessee just north of Nashville near the Kentucky border.

Mark enjoys opportunities to share what he has learned over the years. He serves as the Course Coordinator for Research in the South at IGHR (Georgia Genealogical Society) and also directs Southern courses for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Mark has worked on several genealogical television series including Finding Your Past, African American Lives 2, Who Do You Think You Are? and UnXplained Events, and provided content for podcasts on Gimlet Media, including Twice Removed.

Mark has published in the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ), National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ), the Genealogical Speakers’ Guild SPEAK!, The Longhunter (So. Ky. Genealogical Society), The Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society Quarterly and other local society publications. He formerly was President of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG), President for the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS), and President of the Southern Kentucky Genealogical Society. Mark is a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Society, and was awarded the Graham T. Smallwood award by the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Annette Burke Lyttle, MA

Annette Burke LyttleA professional genealogist since 2014, Annette Burke Lyttle, MA, is a researcher, writer, and lecturer. She has presented at the NGS Family History Conference (2016–2019), the FGS conference (2019–2020), Southern California Jamboree (2016–2021), the Ohio Genealogical Society Conference (2018–2019), and the New England Regional Conference (2019). She regularly presents all-day seminars and genealogy webinars for state and regional societies and averages over 20 presentations per year for local genealogical societies. She was co-coordinator, along with Steven W. Morrison, for the 2020 Exploring American Quaker Records course at GRIP, faculty member for Virtual Quaker Institute sponsored by the British Institute, and coordinator for From Sea to Shining Sea: Researching Our Ancestors’ Migrations in America for SLIG in 2021.

Her articles have been published in the Illinois Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS Magazine, FGS FORUM, and The Florida Genealogist. She is the newly-appointed editor of The Florida Genealogist, the semi-annual journal of the Florida State Genealogical Society. From 2017 through 2019 she coordinated the annual conference for the Association of Professional Genealogists, and she currently serves on their board of directors.

Her genealogical education includes multiple courses at SLIG, GRIP, and the British Institute. She is a graduate of ProGen 27 and a member of the NGSQ Study Group. She is a former vice president of the APG Writers Special Interest Group. Annette has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in English and has taught writing and literature at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Annette is active in the genealogical community. She serves as an editorial assistant for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. She is vice president and program chair for her local society, The Villages Genealogical Society. Along with C. Ann Staley, CG, she hosts the Florida State Genealogical Society’s monthly webinar series.

She is currently on the clock as a preliminary applicant for BCG certification and expects to submit her portfolio for judging before the end of 2021.

Angela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA

Angela Packer McGhie, CGAngela Packer McGhie, CG, FUGA, has a passion for teaching genealogy. She is the Education Director for the National Genealogical Society and a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Angela enjoys coordinating courses for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and she teaches at several other genealogy institutes. She served as the administrator of the ProGen Study Program for six years and is now on the board of directors.

Angela speaks at national conferences and has published articles in Crossroads, the APG Quarterly, and the NGS Magazine. She is a past president of the National Capital Area Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and currently serves as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists Education Fund.

Kelvin L. Meyers

Kelvin MeyersKelvin L. Meyers is a fifth-generation Texan and professional forensic genealogist since 1996. He is a frequent speaker to genealogical societies and family associations throughout the United States. He specializes in southern brick wall problems for clients.

Kelvin is a 1989 and 1990 alumnus of the Institute of Genealogical and Historical Research at Samford University and has returned to IGHR as lecturer in the Southern Course and the Professional Courses. In 2016 he co-coordinated with J. Mark Lowe, “A Swing Through the South” at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogical Research (SLIG). In 2019 Kelvin coordinated the “Burned Counties and More: Overcoming Record Loss” for SLIG.

He is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogist forensic special interest group and a past board member of APG, a past President of the Lone Star Chapter of APG. He currently serves as the chairman of the history and archives committee of First United Methodist Church in Dallas.

The Dallas Genealogical Society awarded Kelvin the Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck Distinguished Service Award in December of 2018.

In 2016 Kelvin published Research in Texas for the National Genealogical Society (NGS) Research in the States series. Kelvin is also the director of the Texas Institute of Genealogical Research (TIGR) sponsored by the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Cheri Hudson Passey

Cheri Hudson PasseyCheri Hudson Passey is a professional genealogist, instructor, writer, and speaker and the owner of Carolina Girl Genealogy, LLC. Cheri is the host of the genealogy chat show GenFriends on YouTube and is a genealogical researcher, subcontracted by Eagle Investigative Services, Inc., for the US Army Past Conflict Repatriations Branch.

 

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL

Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGLNancy A. Peters, CG, CGL, is a full-time professional genealogist and coeditor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Board-certified since 2011, she served as a trustee of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) and is the former editor of its newsletter, OnBoard. She conducts in-depth genealogical research to solve complex problems of identity and kinship for clients. Her personal and client research focuses primarily on the southeastern United States, New York, England, and Germany. Nancy lectures at national and local conferences and has instructed on skill-building topics and genealogy standards at BCG Education Fund workshops, SLIG, SLIG Academy, and GRIP. Her articles have appeared in the NGS Quarterly and other genealogical journals. She authored the "Research Reports" chapter in the Writing, Editing & Publishing section of Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice, & Standards (2018). Nancy holds postgraduate degrees from University of Arizona and London School of Economics in London, England.

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR

Gena Philibert-Ortega, MA, MAR Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include three books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, two volumes of Tracing Female Ancestors (Moorshead Publishing), Tracing Your Ancestors: Hispanic Research (Moorshead Publishing) and a QuickGuide from Legacy Family Tree. She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine, Crossroads. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Family Tree blogs. She is a course instructor for The National Institute for Genealogical Studies and has written courses on topics involving websites, social media, and ethics. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the National Genealogical Society Conference, the Alberta Genealogical Society Conference, the Geo-Literary Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her research projects include Sowerby’s British Mineralogy: Its Influence on Martha Proby and Others in the Scientific Community during the 19th Century for the Gemological Institute of America, as well as genealogical research for the first season of PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow and the Travel Channel’s Follow Your Past. Her current research includes women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture.

Kimberly T. Powell

Kimberly PowellKimberly T. Powell is a professional genealogist, author, educator, and volunteer. She is a past president of the Association of Professional Genealogists, serving seven years as a Director and on APG’s Professional Development Committee. She is on the faculty of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, and Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate Program.

Kimberly was the genealogy expert for About.com from 2000 to 2016 and is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy, 3rd ed. (Adams Media, 2014). She has published articles in BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? magazine, Family Tree Magazine, NGS Magazine, and the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She is the proud recipient of the Utah Genealogical Association’s Silver Tray award for genealogical publishing (2012) and the Grahame T. Smallwood Jr. Award of Merit from the Association of Professional Genealogists (2017). You can find her online at LearnGenealogy.com.

Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Judy Russell, JD, CG, CGLJudy G. Russell, "The Legal Genealogist," is a genealogist with a law degree. She writes, teaches, and lectures on a wide variety of genealogical topics, ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. A Colorado native with roots deep in the American south on her mother’s side and entirely in Germany on her father’s side, she is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the National Genealogical Society, and numerous state and regional genealogical societies. She has written for the National Genealogical Society Quarterly and National Genealogical Society Magazine, among other publications.

Judy is on the faculty of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Georgia, the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh, and Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. She is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist and Certified Genealogical Lecturer. Her blog – chosen as one of the American Bar Association’s top 100 in 2013 and 2014 – appears at The Legal Genealogist website (https://www.legalgenealogist.com).

Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA

Richard SayreRick Sayre, CG, CGL, FUGA, is a long-time genealogical researcher and instructor. He coordinated and taught in advanced methodology, land, military, and beginning courses at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research from 2003-2017. Rick co-coordinates advanced land courses with Pam Sayre and legal courses with Judy Russell at Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh. He is an instructor at the Genealogical Institute on Federal Records. He also lectures at national conferences and presents nationwide seminars. Rick’s areas of expertise include the records of the National Archives, Irish research, land records, government documents, federal land law, military records, and urban research.

Karen Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG

Karen StanbaryKaren Stanbary, MA, LCSW, CG, BCG Trustee, is an author and national lecturer focusing on topics related to using genetic evidence correlated with documentary evidence to solve genealogical brick walls. A Chicago local, she holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and has completed advanced graduate study in Social Anthropology at the Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico. Her genealogical practice specializes in Midwestern U.S., Chicago, and Mexican research as well as complex problem-solving, unknown parentage, and DNA analysis. She is a coordinator and faculty member at IGHR, and SLIG. She is a faculty member at GRIP. She received the NGSQ Award for Excellence for her complex evidence case study incorporating traditional documentary research and autosomal DNA analysis in the June 2016 issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Most recently, she published “Drowning in DNA? The Genealogical Proof Standard Tosses a Lifeline” in Debbie Parker Wayne’s book Advanced Genetic Genealogy: Techniques and Case Studies. She holds the credential Certified Genealogist from the Board for Certification of Genealogists where she serves as a Trustee and is chair of the standing DNA Committee.

Michael L. Strauss, AG

Michael L. Strauss, AGMichael L. Strauss, AG, is a professional Accredited Genealogist and a nationally recognized genealogical speaker. He has been employed as a forensic genealogist for 25 years, has a BA in history, and is a United States Coast Guard veteran. Michael is also a qualified expert witness in the courts in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and an approved genealogist with the United States Army to locate DNA qualified persons MIA from Korea, Vietnam, and World War II. Strauss has been a faculty member of IGHR, SLIG, and GRIP, has been involved in Civil War reenacting for more than 25 years, and also reenacts the Mormon Battalion with the Utah Living History Association.

D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS

D. Joshua TaylorD. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, is a nationally known genealogical researcher and speaker. Passionate about family history, Joshua is the President of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B). He is a frequent speaker at family history events across the globe and is a course coordinator at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). Recognized for his work in the field, Joshua is the recipient of the Rubincam Youth Award from the National Genealogical Society, the Award of Merit from the Federation of Genealogical Societies, and was named one of Library Journal's Movers and Shakers. In 2022 he was named a Fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association. Joshua formerly served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS). He holds an MLS (Archival Management) and an MA (History) from Simmons College and has been a featured genealogist on Who Do You Think You Are? as a host on the popular PBS series Genealogy Roadshow.

Lynn Turner, AG

Lynn Turner, AGLynn Turner, AG, graduated with a BA in Family History and Genealogy from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in Spain and Latin America. He has been accredited in Spanish research since 2006. Lynn has worked at FamilySearch for more than 17 years in various roles and is currently the Director of the Family History Library. If he’s not researching, Lynn is spending time with his family, golfing, or mountain biking.

Lauren Vasylyev, AG

Lauren Vasylyev, AGLauren Vasylyev, AG, is a research specialist at the Family History Library, specializing in romance-language research. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Family History and Genealogy. She has conducted on-site research across the United States and Spain and has lectured at local, regional, and national conferences.

Rich Venezia

Rich VeneziaRich Venezia is a New Jersey native who now calls Philadelphia home. He founded Rich Roots Genealogy in 2013. He was a member of the research team of Genealogy Roadshow (PBS) for two seasons, and also consulted on Follow Your Past (Travel Channel). He is an expert in the research of 20th-century immigrant ancestors, especially underutilized record sources and federal records. He also specializes in Italian and Irish research. Additionally, he assists clients with dual citizenship applications for Ireland and Italy and is a proud Italian dual citizen. Rich holds a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University. He lectures nationwide and spoke about "How to Grow Empathy From Uncovering Your Roots" at TEDx Pittsburgh in 2017.

Mark Wentling, MLS, CG

Mark Wentling, CGMark A. Wentling, MLS, CG, Attleboro, Massachusetts, owner of Ancestor Introductions Forensic Genealogy, is a full-time, professional genealogist with more than 25 years of research experience.  He has specialized in forensic genealogy since 2017.  He is an adjunct professor at the University of New Haven, where he developed and teaches the Genealogy Principles and Methods course in the Certificate in Forensic Genetic Genealogy graduate program.  He is a past facilitator for the Genealogy Principles course at Boston University, and is a current Mentor for ProGen Study Group.  His research has been published in The New England Historical & Genealogical Register, and recognized by the New York State Assembly and New York State Office of Historic Preservation. 

Mark specialties include heir searching and military repatriation, New York and New England family history, Mayflower and Revolutionary War lineages, and lighthouse keepers.  He holds a B.A. in Sociology, a Master of Library Science with archives concentration, and a Certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University.  He currently serves on the board of directors of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).  He previously served as the first Vice President of APG’s Forensic Genealogy SIG from 2020 to 2021, and as Vice President of its New England Chapter from 2018 to 2020.

Paul Woodbury, MEd, AG

Paul Woodbury, MEd Paul Woodbury, MEd, AG, is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied Genetics and Family History. Paul fell in love with genealogy when he was eight years old. Since he was sixteen he knew he wanted to be a genetic genealogist, so he is particularly pleased to work in the field full-time. He currently works as a senior researcher and DNA specialist for Legacy Tree Genealogists. He is also actively pursuing a graduate degree in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. In addition to genetic genealogy, Paul specializes in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Scandinavian research and regularly presents on research topics related to these fields.

Jennifer Armstrong Zinck, CG

Jennifer Armstrong Zinck, CGJennifer Armstrong Zinck, CG, is a New England-based professional genealogist who enjoys researching, writing, teaching, and consulting. Her educational background includes an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Jennifer serves as the President of the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council, Inc., and on the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. She teaches Forensic Research as an Academic Professional in the Boston University Genealogical Research Certificate Program. Jennifer's client work has spanned the United States and beyond and her personal areas of research interest are New England and northeast England. She developed a passion for using DNA evidence for genealogical research in 2011 and has spent the last decade integrating genetic evidence with documentary evidence to solve challenging genealogical research problems, including unknown and misattributed parentage and ancestral brick walls.

* The words Certified Genealogist and its acronym, CG, are a registered certification mark, and the designations Certified Genealogical Lecturer and its acronym, CGL, are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.